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Aksha Sudari seeks soft bail condition

Oct 29 (DM) Actress Aksha Sudari who was on bail for allegedly defrauding an Indian businessman to the tune of some Rs. 160 mn, today sought a softer bail condition from Colombo Additional Magistrate Nishantha Pieris. Counsel Sarath Soysa, who appeared for Ms. Sudari, requested that she be granted soft bail conditions since she had been reporting to the CID regularly every Sunday in keeping with the bail condition. Watching the interest of the victim, President’s Counsel, more..

Minister Mustapha says time to amend archaic local govt laws

Oct 29 (Island) Time had come to amend archaic local govt legislations to help those institutions to serve people better, Provincial Councils and Local Govt Minister Faizer Mustapha said. Addressing a special coordination committee meeting, he said that the existing acts pertaining to the local govt had been made some decades back. "Provisions of those archaic pieces of legislation cannot help today’s requirements and they also hamper the progress of our local govt process," more..

Sri Lanka extends deal with Singapore’s Surbana to design megapolis

Oct 29 (EN) Sri Lanka has hired Singapore urban planning consultants Surbana for 35 million rupees to help design a plan to turn the Colombo’s metropolitan region into a modern megapolis and extended the project period by five months. Cabinet has approved a proposal to obtain the services of local and foreign consultant experts for a further period to proceed with the project, Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka said. more..

Plantation sector: TUs want more time to study revenue sharing model

Oct 30 (SO) With the battle for a wage hike still raging, estate sector trade unions are not willing to accept the model proposed by the Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs). President, CWC, Muttu Sivalingam said that the existing wage scheme should be considered first and then a time line should be set to discuss the new revenue sharing model of the RPCs. Trade unions should be given time to study the new proposals introduced by the RPCs without rushing to implement it. more..

Credible and immediate resettlement policy needed for Northern Muslims: Friday Forum

Oct 30 (CT) “For both the Jaffna Muslims and the Northern Muslim community as a whole, what is needed first and foremost is a credible and immediate resettlement policy.” says the Friday Forum. ”This is a right for all those displaced during the war. Unfortunately, for the Northern Muslim community, when it comes to forging a resettlement process, they have for the most part been abandoned by the State and by the Muslim and Tamil political parties.” more..

Decelerating to detour

Oct 30 (SO) The landslide at Kokmaduwa, which led to the Kokmaduwa – Imaduwa stretch of the Southern Expressway (E01) being shut down for almost a week, has red-flagged several pertinent questions about the 126.1 kilometre stretch of superhighway, primarily about preventive measures, safety of motorists, and the quality of construction ensuring these measures are fool proof. more..

New electoral system for polls?

Oct 30 (SL) The forthcoming local govt election has become a much talked about topic in the country, mainly over the possibility of introducing a new electoral system for the polls. While many opinions have been made regarding the holding of the local govt election under a mixed electoral system that includes the proportional representation system and the first past the post system, the matter is still under discussion. Some have raised objections to the preferential voting system in current scenario. more..

Greed over grievance

Oct 30 (SL) Bribery Commission was able to net their biggest catch recently; three senior Custom officers were apprehended while accepting a bribe of Rs. 125 million. According to sources, this is considered to be the biggest detection in the country in terms of prevention of bribery and corruption. Sri Lanka Customs is considered as one of the most prestigious govt institutions in the country and is considered in public service as one of the most lucrative institutions. more..

' Is Wimal really honest? '

Oct 30 (CT) Wimal Weerawansa's wife has only two passports in her possession and according to Wimal he has only two passports as well, but given the recent incident at the BIA, I wonder if he is really being honest, said Minister P. Harrison in an interview with Ceylon Today. Q: What kind of work has the Ministry of Rural Economic Development been performing these days? A: We are carrying on as usual and bear in mind more..

Top ride-sharing firm Uber forays into SL

Oct 30 (NS) Global ride sharing company has launched operations in Sri Lanka, the company announced in a statement yesterday. Uber is present in over 340 cities across 60 countries where its service allows car owners and drivers to take passengers for a fee. “At Uber, every city that we launch outperforms its predecessor and we expect nothing less from Colombo. In fact, for months now, we know that demand for Uber has been rapidly growing as more and more people & visitors more..

The Paranagama & The Geneva reports

Oct 30 (CT) I have refrained thus far from getting involved in the debate over the Geneva Resolution for a number of reasons. One is a commitment to finalize a few books, and in particular an account of what Sri Lanka did right, in winning the war, and then did wrong in losing the peace. Secondly, I had long felt that the last govt was destroying the country by its ostrich approach to the allegations made against us. As I told Al Jazeera on the day I expressed publicly my support for more..

Boston Lanka: Oct 30, 2015

GSMB looks for investor to turn Quartz to Microchips

Oct 30 (CT) State run Geological Survey and Mines Bureau (GSMB) is searching for an investor who will power Sri Lanka's high quality quartz deposits to microchips. Such conversions require taking the quartz, currently exported in the low value powdered form, to temperatures of 3,000 degrees Centigrade. This could be done by converting electricity to energy. However, a drawback is Sri Lanka's high electricity costs. "But this can be circumvented if an investor sets up a power plant, more..

UN engagement in post-conflict Sri Lanka

Oct 30 (Island) With the co-sponsoring by Sri Lanka of the UNHRC Resolution Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka dated Sept 29, 2015, a chapter has come to a close. This closure marks the beginnings of a new chapter which is the implementation of the undertakings in the resolution. It is being speculated whether Sri Lanka is obligated to implement the provisions strictly as stated in the resolution on grounds of being a co-sponsor or whether more..

'Sri Lanka’s economy will collapse soon'

Oct 30 (FT) The country’s economy will collapse soon due to the immature policies of the UNP, warns former Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena, in an interview with the Daily FT. Charging that the Govt had failed to revive the economy despite improved conditions in the world economy, he said: “World crude oil prices came down to $40 per barrel. Due to this Govt has saved almost $830 million. more..

Race for World Cup begins Sunday

Oct 30 (CT) As the ICC have confirmed eight sides for the Champions Trophy 2017, the race to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 begins in Colombo on Sunday when Sri Lanka hosts the West Indies in a three-match series. Sri Lanka currently slots in fifth position on 103 points, while the West Indies are ranked eighth on 88 points. Each ODI played over the next 23 months will count as the top eight sides on the ICC ODI Team Rankings as on 30 Sept 2017 will count as the top eight sides more..

Editorial: Syria down a spiral

Oct 30 (Island) Syria continues to be the world’s biggest problem. Russia’s airpower has effectively put the brakes on the IS advance on many fronts, but the situation has not taken a turn for the better by any stretch of the imagination. The terrorists remain as resilient as ever in spite of having suffered heavy casualties. That is the way with all bloodthirsty, lunatics fighting for macabre causes. What’s this world coming to when its military super powers cannot put up a united front more..

A ray of hope for those looking for war-missing

Oct 30 (IPS) Thavarasa Utharai’s most treasured belongings are stuck inside several plastic bags and tucked within old traveling bags. Inside, wrapped in more plastic sheets, are old photographs, scrap books, legal documents and even some old bills. These are the only processions 36-year-old mother of two has to show of her husband. He went missing on Mar 20, 2009 while returning home after tending to his cattle. more..

No clean drinking water due to failed projects: Minister

Oct 30 (CT) The people of Tissamaharama have been deprived of the opportunity of having clean drinking water for more than a year due to failed projects of the previous regime, said the Minister of Housing and Construction, Sajith Premadasa. Speaking at a press briefing yesterday, he added that the fear psychosis that prevailed due to the terror-inducing rule of the previous government had prevented these residents from staging protest in fear of a repeat of the Rathupaswela incident. more..

HSBC partners Govt to raise Sri Lanka’s largest bond issuance

Oct 30 (FT) HSBC advised the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) on behalf of the Sri Lankan Govt to complete a $ 1.5 billion, 10-year international sovereign bond issuance. The transaction, which was priced at a yield of 6.85% per annum, marks the second 10-year sovereign bond issue in the international capital markets in 2015 and Sri Lanka’s ninth overall and largest ever bond offering. The final order books stood at $ 3.3 billion, an oversubscription of 2.2 times. more..

Residents take Kolonnawa garbage headache to Supreme Court

Oct 30 (Island) Supreme Court yesterday gave the Colombo Municipal Council, the Central Environmental Authority and other concerned authorities, time till Feb. 25, 2016 to submit details of plans they had to solve the garbage disposal problem within the Colombo Municipal limits. Seven petitioners who are residents of Kolonnawa have complained to the court that daily 750 to 1,200 tonnes of garbage are being more..

Sri Lanka’s first Green asset backed securitization by Trillion

Oct 30 (CT) Trillion investments launch the first ever Green asset backed securitization in the country. Aimed at helping reducing the carbon emissions by vehicles, Trillion has set up this fund of Rupees seven hundred and fifty million for this asset back securitization. A licensed investment manager Trillion Investments Limited (Trillion), is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka, and is Sri Lanka's first green asset backed securitization. more..

Commercial Bank empowers micro-entrepreneurs of Point Pedro

Oct 30 (Island) The Commercial Bank has reaffirmed its commitment to customers in the northern peninsula with a programme in Point Pedro on Financial Literacy and Entrepreneurship Development for micro entrepreneurs. One of a series of such knowledge-enhancing programmes being conducted by the Bank countrywide, the programme organised by Commercial Bank's Nelliady branch and the Bank's Agriculture & Micro Finance Unit (AMFU) in Atchuvely, more..

CB Chief slams tax system

Oct 30 (FT) Tough-talking Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran slammed Sri Lanka’s tax system as pathetic and regressive, insisting it needed to be boosted through fresh measures and called for reduced stress on State banks placed by loss making State Owned Enterprises (SOEs). Delivering the inaugural address as the Chief Guest at the Association of Professional Bankers (APB) 27th Anniversary Convention, more..

'Plight of Tamils should be remembered'

Oct 30 (CT) Prof. S. Yogarajah from the Eastern Province University's Tamil Department has urged that the next generation should also be mindful of the plight the Tamil minority people have undergone. "The person behind the establishment of Ampara District's Tamil Writers' Union late Kamalaambihai Lohitharajah had enormously served for the society and is really laudable. She always proved and prevailed to bring out the rich history of the district. Every writer should attempt to bring out more..

Pakistan investments in sugar sought

Oct 30 (CT) Sri Lanka has invited Pakistan sugar companies to invest in Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka-Pakistan Business Council President Rohitha Thilakaratne said. "There were requests in this direction from Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif", "he said. Addressing a 22nd Annual General Meeting of the council held on Wednesday, Thilakaratne said that during President Sirisena's recent visit to Pakistan, the leadership of the two countries decided to enhance bilateral trade to US$ 1 billion. more..

Did Pillayan kill Raviraj?

Oct 30 (DN) CID officials investigating the murder of TNA MP Nadarajah Raviraj has linked S Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan's name to the murder. CID sleuths have sought Swiss assistance to arrest the main suspect in the murder named Charan who is said to be a close ally of former Chief Minister S Chandrakanthan also known as Pillayan. Charan is living in Switzerland. CID official said that the weapon used to kill former MP Raviraj more..

Let's hope Sri Lanka regains its serendipity

Oct 30 (ST) Some years before his death in 2008, I sat in the modest Colombo home of Mr Harry Goonatillake, a retired chief of the Sri Lankan Air Force, listening to his reminiscences about flying Mr Lee Kuan Yew around the island when the Singapore leader visited the South Asian nation in the 1970s. With its strategic perch in the Indian Ocean, natural beauty, deep water ports, ease of English use and a warm and welcoming people, the land was one of great promise. more..

Dalada devotees warned against pickpockets

Oct 30 (Island) Dalada Maligawa authorities and the police have urged pilgrims to the shrine to refrain from carrying large sums of money and valuables. This warning has been issued following a series of complaints of loss of money and articles by worshippers at the Sri Dalada Maligawa. A woman was recently arrested by the Maligawa police following a complaint of theft of Rs. 25,000 from a pilgrim. A resident of Balagolla who returned from England has requested more..

Video: Kondaya's lawyers violated professional ethics: Police

Oct 30 (DM) ASP Ruwan Gunasekara said that they would file a lawsuit in the Supreme Court against lawyers Udul Premaratne and two others for spreading malicious lies, violating the ethics guiding the law profession. Referring to statements made by the three lawyers, including Mr. Premaratne against the police, CID and the police spokesman in defence of Dunesh Priyashantha alias Kondaya, ASP Gunasekara said the police more..

Sri Lanka moves in the right direction on Internet freedom

Oct 30 (TD) Sri Lanka’s new govt moves in the right direction on internet freedom, although concerns about surveillance technologies persist. Freedom House has just released its latest report on internet freedom. Sixty-five countries were examined for this study. Broadly speaking, things are moving in the wrong direction, with net freedom in decline for the fifth straight year. According to the report, the biggest positive changes have occurred in Zambia and Sri Lanka. more..

Advantage US, as China fades in Sri Lanka's war crimes debate

Oct 30 (SCMP) Far from the South China Sea's unfolding turbulence, the calmer waters of the Indian Ocean are witnessing a more subtle geopolitical power play, in which China is losing its leverage over Sri Lanka to the US. The shift comes amid a raging domestic debate in the strategically located island nation over the investigation of atrocities committed during the country's civil war, which ended in 2009. A recent UN resolution called for a credible justice system to deal with more..

Sri Lanka tells UK investors to partner and profit from new resurgence

Oct 30 (FT) Sri Lanka yesterday urged UK-based investors to partner and profit from new resurgence and opportunity in the country under better governance and supportive policies. The message was conveyed at the Invest Sri Lanka Forum organised in London by the Colombo Stock Exchange in association with the Sri Lanka High Commission in UK and Bloomberg. “We have a new Sri Lanka. Have confidence in the new govt more..

Govt clueless on non-returned state vehicles

Oct 30 (Island) The govt had not yet received information regarding the state vehicles still being used by former UPFA ministers, Minister Gayantha Karunathileke said yesterday. He told a media briefing in Colombo that some former UPFA ministers were still using state vehicles which had been given to them when they held the ministerial portfolios. In answer to a question, Minister said that he had only announced the Cabinet decision and it was not under his duties to find the culprits. more..

We used minimal force on Students: Police

Oct 30 (DM) Police spokesman ASP Ruwan Gunasekara said that the police had used minimal force to disperse the students who had protested aggressively on the main road. Commenting on the incident at the Town Hall in Colombo 7, where a clash broke out during a protest march organised by the Inter Higher National Diploma in Accountancy Conservation Students' Unity, he said the police had used the least possible force -- using batons to disperse the protesting students. more..

Ward Place mayhem: Punishing the Wrongdoers under Yahapalana regime

Oct 30 (CT) Police are actively searching for persons involved in yesterday's protest opposite the UGC by students of the Higher National Diploma for Accounting Collective (HNDAC), which ended in chaos when demonstrators clashed with police leaving nine hospitalized. 40 individuals were arrested, of whom 32 were male university students, six female students and two bhikkhus. more..

Police crackdown coincides with FUTA-Kiriella discussion

Oct 30 (Island) The Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (FUTA) said that at the time of the clash between the university students and the police opposite the UGC senior FUTA representatives had been at a discussion with Minister of Highways and University Education Lakshman Kiriella at the Ministry. FUTA spokesman Dr. Primal Fernando said that though the FUTA was aware of the incident exact details were not known and, therefore, he could not comment. more..

President to lead SLFP at LG polls

Oct 30 (DN) President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday said he will lead the SLFP to victory at the upcoming Local Govt elections. He said the SLFP is immortal and he does not want to see the SLFP's defeat. The President while admitting that the party was defeated at the last two previous elections, stressed the importance of evolving a programme to ensure its victory after a careful study of the reasons that led to such defeats. President was speaking at the SLFP office in Kaduwela. more..

Arming MPs: Data to be released soon

Oct 30 (Island) Minister Gayantha Karunathileke said that he would reveal the statistics on the number of MPs who had applied for licenced firearms and the number of former MPs who had returned the firearms which were given to them while they were in the previous Parliament. He said that he was not aware of firearms training given for newly elected MPs. A group of MPs underwent a 2-day weapons training exercise at STF base more..

Build our cities to live in harmony

Oct 30 (DM) With a make-or-break world climate change summit scheduled for December, the United Nations will tomorrow mark World Cities Day on the theme Designed to live together to promote togetherness and harmony, making our cities and neighbourhoods inclusive and livable. This follows last year’s thrust where the UN highlighted the critical role that cities and smart urban planning have to play in sustainable or eco-friendly development. According to a UN report, more..